Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina senior left-handed pitcher Bryan Sammons was drafted Tuesday afternoon on the second day of the 2017 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. The senior LHP was selected by the Minnesota Twins with the 226th overall pick in the eighth round.
Sammons' selection is the highest for Western Carolina since Nick Liles was a seventh-round selection by the San Francisco Giants in the 2009 MLB Draft.
This year marked the second-straight season that the Twins drafted a WCU senior pitcher. Last season, senior RHP Colton Davis was taken with the 753rd overall pick in the 25th round by the Minneapolis-based club. Sammons joins Davis and former Catamount infielder Bradley Strong, who was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in 2015 but was picked-up by the Twins organization and is currently playing for the Fort Myers (Fla.) Miracle Class A Advanced affiliate.
Sammons put the finishing touches on a tremendous career in Cullowhee this past season, posting an 8-3 overall record with a 3.02 ERA while striking out a career-high 108 in garnering second team All-Southern Conference plaudits as a starter. His 108 seasonal K's ranked tied for third in the league, fanning a career-high 14 in a home victory over The Citadel in late March.
A product of Wilmington, N.C., Sammons finished his career tied for fourth in WCU's career record books with 27 career victories on the mound, matching former Catamount hurler -- and a fourth-round draft pick by Oakland back in 1994 -- Jason Beverlin (1992-94). His .675 winning percentage ranked him 11th in program history. Sammons struck out 325 over his four-year career, the second-most in the Catamount career ledgers which also ranked him seventh in SoCon history.
WCU's selection was among three players from the Southern Conference drafted during the top 10 rounds through the first 10 rounds. He joined Furman RHP Will Gaddis, who was a third-round selection with the 86th overall pick by the Colorado Rockies while Samford RHP Jared Brashear was also taken in the eighth round, 253rd overall by the Washington Nationals.
The 2017 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft concludes on Wednesday with rounds 11 through 40, beginning at Noon online at MLB.com.
Additional WCU Draft Notes:
* Western Carolina had a player selected in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft for the 12th-straight season -- and for the 18th-time in the past 21-years, missing just 2001, 2004, and 2005 ... During that same span, WCU did see Jared Greenwood sign a free agent contract with the New York Yankees in 2005 and Matt Price sign as a free agent with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2001;
* All told, WCU has had three players taken inside the first 100 picks all time, headlined by Rick Adair with the 53rd pick of the third round by the Seattle Mariners in the 1979 draft - WCU's highest all-time ... Brad Tweedie (3rd round, 92nd pick by Cincinnati Reds in 1993) and Jason Beverlin (4th round, 93rd pick by Oakland Athletics in 1994).
2017 Western Carolina MLB Draft Picks
|8||226||Bryan Sammons||LHP||Minnesota Twins|
2017 Southern Conference MLB Draft Picks
|3||86||Will Gaddis||Furman||RHP||Colorado Rockies|
|8||226||Bryan Sammons||Western Carolina||LHP||Minnesota Twins|
|8||253||Jared Brasher||Samford||RHP||Washington Nationals|